Falcons Signing Ex-Panthers, Seahawks Running Back: Report

Mike Davis

Will Newton/Getty Images Mike Davis of the Carolina Panthers runs with the ball against Washington on December 27, 2020.

It’s been a quiet start to free agency for the Atlanta Falcons but according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the team has signed running back Mike Davis to a two-year contract. Per Rapoport the deal is worth a total of $5.5 million and includes $3 million (fully guaranteed) in the first year.

Davis—5-foot-9 and 221 pounds—is an Atlanta native who graduated from Stone Mountain High School before moving on to the University of South Carolina.

New head coach Arthur Smith has already indicated that the Falcons are likely to take a running back by committee approach this season. By adding Davis to a committee that also includes Ito Smith, it reduces the level of need and provides the Falcons more flexibility in the forthcoming draft—a draft in which the Falcons still figure to select a running back.

Mike Davis: NFL Vagabond

Davis was a fourth-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers (No. 126 overall) in 2015. He played his first two seasons for the 49ers and then went to Seattle when the Seahawks claimed him on waivers in the spring of 2017.

That year he spent much of the season on Seattle’s practice squad, but went on to start six games in the latter portion of the season. Then the next year (2018) he received more playing time, appearing in 15 contests with two starts.

In the spring of 2019 Davis inked a two-year, $6 million contract with the Chicago Bears, who waived him in November 2019, at which point he was claimed by the Carolina Panthers, where he has spent his time since.

All in all, Davis has appeared in 62 games with 22 starts, more than half of which came last season, according to Pro Football Reference. He has accumulated 412 NFL carries for 1,531 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns plus 125 receptions for 803 receiving yards and another three TDs.

But his best NFL seasons have come in year in which he has had the heaviest workload. In 2018 he averaged 4.6 yards per carry for the Seahawks on 112 attempts. Last season he started 12 games after Panthers starter Christian McCaffrey was injured and averaged 3.9 yards per carry on 166 attempts, totaling 642 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns. He also added 59 receptions for 373 yards and 2 touchdowns.

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Davis is the Third Unrestricted Free Agent Atlanta Has Signed

The addition of Mike Davis follows on the heels of the addition of a pair of free agent defenders, namely former Las Vegas Raiders safety Erik Harris, who has also played for the New Orleans Saints and Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL after playing college football at California University of Pennsylvania. Per AtlantaFalcons.com, Harris has signed a one-year contract, as has outside linebacker Brandon Copeland, who signed with the Falcons after visiting Atlanta late last week.

The Falcons have also executed one trade, acquiring tight end Lee Smith from the Buffalo Bills for a 2022 draft pick.

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